Steven Bowditch has revealed injury and dental problems have combined to hammer his formline leading into this week's Masters.
In a typically frank assessment of his game before his second time around Augusta National, the normally jovial Queenslander told Australian Associated Press’s Ben Everill that his preparation had been far from ideal – and the numbers prove it.
Bowditch's scoring average in his most recent 19 rounds on the PGA Tour has ballooned to 75.58 and he failed to break 80 in six of his past 10 rounds before arriving at Augusta National.
While reluctant to use excuses, the stoic Queenslander has tendonitis in his left wrist, requiring cortisone injections, and recently suffered through major dental surgeries, including five root canals.
The surgeries and subsequent recovery produced significant disruption but, rather than take time off, Bowditch pressed hard trying to get himself into the recent WGC World Match Play field.
It backfired as he not only miss the elite tournament but his driver swing deteriorated and he picked up bad habits which he is now battling to fix.
“I just seriously underestimated how much the oral surgeries and the wrist would affect my game,” Bowditch told AAP.
“I don't like to make excuses. Playing with pain is part of golf sometimes but in hindsight maybe I should have taken some time off.
“I spent an entire month in and out of the dentist and at one point was in the chair for two full consecutive days from morning to night and it was just tough.
“My wrist has multiple cysts in it and I've just had another injection, which I have had to do throughout my career, so I hope that also can settle down.”
Unfortunately for Bowditch the cortisone injections usually take three weeks to produce full results and he had his just a week ago after being advised not to mix it with his dental issues.
That adds up to his second Masters tilt being a tough one as he is missing both sides of the fairway off the tee.
“The reality is I dug myself a deep hole playing through the wrist problem earlier this year,” Bowditch said.
“It has manifested into some issues and all I can do is keep battling away to get it right.
“I'm not sure when I'll get it back under control but the game is obviously not in great shape at all. I am still working on it. It's nowhere near where I want it to be obviously being here at Augusta.”